Contests & Awards


Submitting your work to contests and awards is a great way to get your work noticed. Here's a list of submission opportunities for children's writing and illustrating. We normally only list contests that do not require an entry fee. 

Also, check out these other compilations of contests:
  • Sub It Club's monthly lists of contests (see their )
Before entering a contest, pay attention to warning signs:;

Ongoing Contests & Awards

 (every month, deadline 5th day of each month)

  • What: Comment on the contest announcement on the 4th of each month for a chance to submit your first 400 words of an MG or YA ms
  • Prize: Winner's entry will be posted on blog & critiqued by four members of The Winged Pen

  • What: monthly illustration challenge with a prompt, due 20th of each month
  • Who: SCBWI members
  • Prize: winning pieces featured in SCBWI's monthly newsletter


  • What: apply for emergency funds during the pandemic
  • Who: people of color in the children's publishing industry (agents, editors, authors, illustrators) who've been furloughed or lost their jobs
  • Award: emergency funds


Oct. 15
  • What: apply for full tuition to  SCBWI/Smithsonian Institution Nonfiction Workshop
  • Who: SCBWI members, black, indigenous, and people of color
  • Award: tuition to the above workshop

Oct. 20

  • What: Twitter pitch party for children & teen fiction/nonfiction
  • Who: for self-identifying historically marginalized authors & illustrators
  • Prize: attention from agents & editors with invitations to query
Sept. 20-Oct 20
  • What: submit three sequential images illustrating the theme "silver lining" either in full color for PB audience, or B&W for MG audience
  • Who: SCBWI members
  • Prize: free tuition virtual SCBWI winter conference

Oct. 29
  • What: Twitter pitch party for picture book creators (illustrators and authors)
  • Prize: attention from agents & editors with invitations to query

Oct. 1-31 
  • What: apply for one of 15 mentorships with award-winning book creators (12 writers, 3 illustrators)
  • Who is eligible: anyone who personally identifies with an underrepresented community or working on a book with a diverse protagonist
  • When to apply: Oct 1-30, 2020
Sept. 15-Oct. 31
  • What: apply to win full tuition to the 2021 SCBWI LA conference plus expert consultations
  • Who: SCBWI member with a MG or YA manuscript
  • Prize: tuition to 2021 SCBWI conference, 20 minute consultation with agent Tracey Adams, 20 minute consultation with a MG/YA editor


Aug 16- Nov. 1

  • What: submit a short story aimed at the middle grade audience that centers joy and features and centers Black boys <3000 words
  • Who: Black male/nonbinary author over 18, un-agented, not traditionally published
  • Award: inclusion in a soon-to-be-announced MG anthology that will center the joy of Black boyhood, edited by Kwame Mbalia
Nov. 1 

  • What: Apply for a $500 grant 
  • Who: mothers with at least one child
  • Award: three grants given every six months

Nov. 1

  • What: one of two winners to share a $3,000 grant
  • Who: SCBWI members who have published two PAL books but have not sold anything in five years
  • Prize: a $3000 grants shared between two winners
Sept 15- Nov 15
  • What: apply to one of ten grants
  • Who: unpublished writers or illustrators from underrepresented group
  • Award: paid trip and tuition for LA SCBWI summer conference, manuscript consultation, and publicity

Dec. 1
  • What: Submit a short story for middle grade readers up to 1300 words long about a spooky story based on a state you have a connection with
  • Who: SCBWI members
  • Prize: $400 and inclusion in an anthology published by Macmillian

Dec. 3, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. EST 
  • What: Pitch your manuscript on Twitter (PB, MG, YA, adult)
  • Prize: attention from agents & editors with invitations to query
now-Dec. 15
  • What: Nominate a 2020 trade book published in the US with environmental themes
  • Award: Four awards of $1,000 to four categories (PB, MG, YA, nonfiction). Award split between author and illustrator where appropriate.


Mar 12, 2022
  • What: win an award for a book of poetry published in English
  • Who: SCBWI member with a book of poetry published in 2019, 2020, or 2021 (Verse novels not eligible)
  • Award: $1,000

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